Another holiday season has come and gone. I saw my parents a couple days before Christmas. Had Christmas dinner with them. First time I saw them since June. We still have lots of snow on the ground so I don’t get out much these days. Been content to stay home, listen to audiobooks, and play computer games.
Been sleeping more lately. I have more or less kept to myself between Christmas and New Year’s. Been feeling kind of irritable and short tempered the last few days. So I’m reducing my caffeine and trying to sleep more. I also make a point of avoiding rude and angry people. I think the pandemic is getting to most people I know. It’s gotten to me sometimes even if I try not to take it out on others. Two of my cousins had covid this fall. There have been a few thousand cases in my hometown with a few dozen deaths. So it is here even several hours outside of major cities. Granted we haven’t had the protests or looting that some places have. If I wasn’t concerned about covid I probably would get out and about more often. But as I am mentally ill and overweight I already have two conditions that would make covid worse than normal for me. I still have some face masks, a bottle of hand sanitizer, plenty of soap, and enough food supplies and meds I can stay bunkered down for weeks if needed.
I guess the highlights of my week are when my neighbors and I drop in on each other just to check in. My neighbor across the hall is kind enough to pick up my mail and help me out a couple times a week. In exchange I will usually give him some face masks or some quarters. We have a soda pop machine on ground floor that has the coldest soda pop I ever had. It’s worth the 75 cents a can to get a frigid Diet Coke. Our laundry machines still take quarters too. My mom gave me a bunch of quarters for Christmas. Saves me a trip to my bank. I also enjoy Thursday afternoons when my cleaning lady arrives. She gives the place a good scrub down every week and she indulges my need for chatting. I’m glad she at least tolerates my eccentric sense of humor.
Overall I’ve done okay during this pandemic. Sure I get lonely sometimes. But that’s why I have a cell phone and my facebook account. But, since I sold my car back in 2019 I’m able to save some money as I don’t have to buy gas or change oil. Once I found I could get my groceries delivered and get amazon delivery, usually within two to three days even in my rural town, I no longer had much of a need for a car except for emergencies. My drivers’ license is due to be renewed this summer. I’ll probably keep it updated just for emergency purposes. I tend to get sensory overload with my mental illness. And I felt that made me unreliable as a regular driver. Since I can already get most things delivered to my house, I really don’t need a car. Even my small town now has a few Uber and Door Dash drivers. As I can stay home with fewer problems, I’ve managed to avoid getting sick so far. Hopefully only a few more months until I can get the vaccine.
Hosted Christmas for myself and my parents again this year. Even though they live out of state now, they had to be back in Nebraska for a couple days to close up some business issues and visit some family. I did get to face time with my nephews and niece, granted it was on my dad’s smart phone and not my computer. I do miss those kids. Makes me hope that I can spend Christmas 2019 at their place.
Right now I am house bound for the next couple days at least. We had massive amounts of rain before changing over to snow. I don’t know how much snow we have as my windows are so iced over I can’t see out. Our city did declare a snow emergency and told everyone besides critical workers to stay home today. Fortunately I have enough groceries I can stay home for a long time if need be, and I even have a lot of non perishables that don’t need to be cooked or refrigerated. I haven’t gone as far and picked up any of those Meals Ready to Eat (MREs) popularized by the military and back woods campers. But I should be alright. I keep everything charged in case we do lose power. With as much ice and wind and snow as we have, that is a possibility.
I got some picture frames for Christmas. I bought several prints of art work done by a long time friend of mine. I finally got some frames to go with them. My apartment doesn’t look so much like a monk’s chamber now. I guess I don’t mind the kind of starkness of white walls with few decorations. But some paintings on the walls do make the place seem warmer and less sterile.
Been going to bed around 9pm and waking up for good around 5am lately. I feel more stable now that I have a regular sleep pattern. I still sometimes nap in the afternoons for an hour or two at a time. I sleep much deeper than usual now. But I’m getting better sleep too. I think that only helps with my issues of paranoia and delusions. I tend to be less distressed after a few days of good sleep. I also get deeper sleep on days I don’t have as much caffeine. Feel less irritable on those days too.
Been feeling pretty good the last few days. I enjoyed Christmas with my parents. And now I am ready to face the rest of the winter.
Been several days since I have been out of my neighborhood. We’ve had a lot of snow and cold weather. It has been a colder than usual January for sure. Since I have been sitting tight and not really going anywhere, I have been living off my own cooking for almost two weeks. Good thing I’m a decent cook.
As it is, I’m going to eventually have to get out of my neighborhood and pick up more supplies. I’m not really looking forward to it. As much as I enjoy the long nights and quiet of winter, I definitely don’t like winter travel.
I have been feeling mentally stable even with the lack of activity. Fortunately I can still socialize with friends and family. My back has all but healed up. It took a week of sleeping in recliners but I think I’m doing better in that regard. I’ve gotten used to sleeping in recliners so I think I’ll do this for the foreseeable future.
Haven’t been watching news or much for other tv lately. The only things I have been watching lately are youtube shows and live sports. And that is about all. Been focusing more on my computer games like Civilization and Skyrim. Unfortunately both game types can be kind of addicting and pass the time real fast. But with the flu and other sickness going around bad this winter, it’s probably not a bad idea to stay away from people unless necessary.
We’re now three weeks into winter. It feels longer than that. Maybe because I haven’t been outside of town since before Christmas. Been housebound for much of this time. It sometimes gets kind of boring. I feel like I should be doing more outside, at least until I look out my window and see all the snow and ice. It feels daunting that we have at least another two months of this left. I’m looking forward to spring.
With the really cold weather I have had for the last several days, I rarely left my apartment between Christmas and New Year’s. I started my car a few times and shoveled out the snow so I can now get out if necessary. I’m going to have to get out within the next few days as I am running low on supplies and groceries. Being shut up inside has made me a little restless and bored. But it’s supposed to start warming up within a day or two. Maybe I can get out more often now. But it has been a lonely and tedious several days just staying home, watching football, and playing computer games. I hope to have a new routine started soon.
Haven’t gotten to talk to anyone besides my parents and a couple close friends since Christmas. I haven’t been on facebook much the last few months. Seems to me even my friends are starting to avoid social media. So much for reconnecting people. It has been kind of a lonely go the last several days. I did host Christmas but haven’t had guests since.
Even though mentally I have been stable for months, I don’t have much for enthusiasm in anything anymore. I used to be able to spend hours on end reading online articles or wikipedia in addition to educational programs on youtube and curiosity stream. I haven’t found much joy in these activities for a few weeks now. Not sure what the issues are. For all I know the reduction in doses of some of my psych meds could be the culprit. I may not have the ups and downs, but I am also losing many of my interests. I have also become quite lazy now, I’m embarrassed to admit. I imagine it’s just a matter of readjusting and adapting in order to get my old interests back. At least I haven’t lost my interests in writing. I may not post as often as I used to but that is because I have less to report. Most of this is from lack of flare ups and a lack of socializing.
Fortunately socializing doesn’t make me annoyed anymore. Now I have the problem of being scared to socialize. I guess the hostility is being edged out by the old paranoia issues. I am scared to socialize in most instances anymore besides with close friends and family members. I am not as afraid to drive my car anymore. I just don’t want to anymore. Driving just seems kind of pointless anymore. I haven’t really had much reason to laugh much lately. I just don’t make a point to watch comedy shows as much as I should. I just don’t make a point to watch much of anything anymore. Been a few weeks since I watched anything on netflix and I haven’t done an audiobook for almost a month. If it wasn’t for football for the last two weeks I wouldn’t have watched much of anything this winter. And since I need less sleep than I used to, the days and nights seem to stretch out forever. I hope the rest of winter isn’t this long or bleak. I hope it warms up a little soon. I’ve about hit my breaking point with having to stay inside all day because of the snow and cold.
I’ve been feeling quite well the last several days. I make it a point a socialize with at least one neighbor per day. I still call my parents twice a week on average. Other than running errands and a couple doctors’ appointments this week, I’ve stayed pretty close to home. It’s been colder than usual the last couple weeks, so I’ve pretty much been going to bed earlier and waking up early. I think I finally broke the habit of staying awake most of the night and sleeping in the mornings.
Been avoiding negative news for months now. And I think it’s given me a more positive outlook overall. Most of what I watch anymore are science shows, comedy, and inspirational materials. I am still largely avoiding social media except to occasionally drop in on friends and promote my blog. I just came to the conclusion that the drama involved in most social media isn’t worth the trouble. It does make the nights kind of lonely as facebook used to be a lot of my socializing. But I am adjusting.
Mentally I am stable. I am not sleeping as much as I did during the summers. And I’m not staying up all night either. I think I have found some balance in the kind of schedules I keep. I have made a point of keeping my apartment cleaner than usual. And I have to think that has positively impacted my mental health. I’ve decided I’m regrowing my beard for the winter. Other projects I have this winter include rereading some of the old philosophy books I read years ago in college. I may watch more classic movies too this winter. I don’t really have any plans for the next couple weeks. I’m going back to my parents’ place for Thanksgiving. I am definitely not doing the Black Friday shopping nonsense. I do all my shopping from my computer anymore. I don’t plan on going out shopping this Christmas but I will probably watch a few Christmas movies. It’s A Wonderful Life and Christmas Story are my two all time favorites.
I have been experiencing changes in my sleep patterns the last several weeks. I now usually stay up quite late and sleep in the mornings until usually noon. But I still get my sleep and am still able to do this blog two to three times per week. I am still able to socialize with friends and family in spite of my mornings being when I now sleep. I have adjusted to this new routine by doing my shopping and errands at night and scheduling my medical appointments for late afternoons. I look at it as no different than working a nigh shift job. My mother worked night shifts for years so I think it runs in the family.
Oddly I actually have felt more stable and calm during the last few weeks. Because of my overnight schedules I have been able to avoid problem neighbors whom have been causing me grief and irritation. The fact that I rarely hear from irritable and angry neighbors has made my stress levels go way down. I haven’t felt this calm and relaxed in a real long time.
Even though I’m not getting a great deal of physical activity as it’s still winter, I have found myself eating less. Most days I eat only two meals, drink a lot of water, and have a couple cups of coffee. I have found that caffeine can be an appetite suppressant for me. But if I have more than two cups of coffee at a time it can make me jittery and irritable. And I think I’ve even started to lose weight again because I’m eating much less.
I haven’t had problems with hallucinations and delusional thoughts lately. I think it helps that I still get good sleep, avoid stressful people and situations, and just pretty much have settled into a routine that has been helpful for the course of the winter.
My sleep patterns do vary throughout the year. During the summers I am often awake shortly after dawn and usually don’t sleep as much as the winters. I sleep the most and stay up the latest in the winters. But it evens out as winters are usually slow and uneventful times for me. I usually have my worst problems with schizophrenia in late summers and early autumns. I don’t know if it’s common for someone with my diagnosis to have seasonal aspects to the illness.
As of right now I am happy with my patterns and routines. I can still get things done and I don’t get bothered by irritable people as much as I normally do. I imagine as the days get warmer and longer I probably will start waking up earlier and hibernate less.
Weathered the last winter storm alright. We didn’t get much snow but we had a lot of ice that made travel impossible for over two days. I spent those days indoors listening to free audiobooks on youtube. Between audiobooks and my regular books I’ve kept quite occupied this winter.
I decided that I want to get more serious about improving my physical health. I’m starting to lift arm weights again. I’m going to get a Fitbit in a couple days. And I’m going to schedule a checkup soon. My previous practitioner has retired so I have to find a new doctor. I haven’t been to a regular doctor for a couple years so I don’t exactly know where I stand physical health wise. I haven’t been physically sick other than an occasional cold for several years, so I think I might be doing something right on that end. I know I have gained a bunch of weight since my auto accident. After my back went out I got real lazy about exercise and dieting. I have been eating healthier since the weather turned colder. But I definitely want to get serious about my physical health again. I think I have the mental health pretty well set, at least for now. It’s been months since I had a breakdown and weeks since I’ve had any real depression or anxiety.
Right now I’m a third of the way through winter. I’ve adapted to the shorter days and colder weather pretty well. I’m not experiencing the crippling bouts of depression and boredom like I have in previous winters. I still keep odd hours. I stay up quite late and then sleep in until late morning most days. I don’t socialize much around my apartment complex. I don’t really drive much anymore either. I haven’t been outside of my town for weeks. But during the winter there really aren’t many places to go and the weather is too unpredictable for much travel. I keep occupied by online research and keeping in contact with friends and family most days. I’m looking forward to spring and warmer weather.
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